The Beginning

We have loved every minute of the journey

An Idea is Born

Children First Foundation USA is the brain child of Maria T. Santi. In 2006, Maria went through a divorce and was faced with being a single mother of three young boys ages, 7, 5 and 1. Faced with obstacles, despite the family support, she learned the difficulties and challenges of life as single mother with children. A family without both parents was a different life and she knew the shortfalls from first hand experience. Upon research and gathering statistics she learned of the epidemic of single mothers everywhere. She decided to create Wings for the Single Mom to provide cultural outing and travel opportunities to single mothers and their children to encourage educational and intellectual development. The program took off in Miami, FL and became very popular. Later, the name would be changed to Children First Foundation USA to incorporate additional programs and allow for continued grown in all respects.

First Educational and Cultural Outings

The first outing took place in March of 2008 with a group of about 15 single mothers and their children to Miami Metrozoo. The children learned about the different species of animals and their geography. 

The next educational outing was with a group of about 20 single mothers and their children in April 2008. The outing was to the Miami Museum of Science. The children learned about the different species of the dinosaurs of China (while also learning about China geography and culture). 

In May 2008 a group of about 17 mothers and their children visited FairChild Tropical Gardens. The children learned about the different species of plants (while also learning about geography and the culture of plants and the places they come from). They were also exposed to an art exhibition in the gardens, including the art of Dale Chihuly, the sculptures of Pop artist Roy Lichtenstein, and the sculptures of Mexican artist Botero.

In June 2008, we had a group of about 10 mothers and their children. The outing was to OneCool World, a skateboard park in the heart of Coconut Grove, Florida. The children learned about this hidden, yet worthwhile park in the heart of the Grove and were exposed to the skateboard culture present in their community. They also learned about the legendary individuals within the culture of skateboarding by watching an informative video. The children were also involved in art activities. Thereafter, there were events to various museums.

Evolution & Implementation

As the organization took flight, additional projects were implemented with targeted specific short term funding efforts to implement each project as needed, including, partial funding of a theme based education arts program in Little Haiti, donation of books for to low income schools, donations of necessities to women and families in need, toy donations for homeless children, partial funding of a cultural travel trip for children and parents to Italy, and partial funding of an international mission trip to aid less fortunate children.

Continued Progress

The organization primarily led by its Founder had a quiet period, for as it was growing and gaining momentum, she embarked on the journey of law school from 2012 through 2015. Today she is a practicing attorney. Read her inspirational story about the day she decided to quit law school by clicking here. Today she is a practicing attorney. Much like law school, Children First Foundation USA is one of the passions she is committed to continue to implement to create a lasting impact on the community for years to come. 2018 sees the launch of the new campaign "Moms in Law School Program" to provide scholarships to single moms in law school for tuition, books, living expenses and child care.

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